• Biblical Studies

    A New Identity: The Gospel of Matthew, Part II

    Get a practical viewpoint of the believers’ identity in Jesus! Travel to the lands of the Bible and explore the gospel of Matthew with host Michael Card.

    A New Identity: The Gospel of Matthew, Part I

    “Listening to the voice of Matthew” (Chapters 1-4). Bringing to life the pages of the gospel of Matthew, host Michael Card guides us through the city of Capernaum and northern region of Israel, along the shorelines of the Sea of Galilee, and finally to Jerusalem.   Other parts of the series: A New Identity: The […]

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    Christian Beliefs

    A New Identity: The Gospel of Matthew, Part II

    Get a practical viewpoint of the believers’ identity in Jesus! Travel to the lands of the Bible and explore the gospel of Matthew with host Michael Card.

    Fighting Temptation

    Mimi began working at a brothel in her early 20s. The big money began funding a lavish lifestyle, but working nights meant she lost touch with her friends. Soon things began spiraling out of control.

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    Christian Living

    Shine Brightly

    Shane (name changed to protect his identity) took a big job at a well-known company. Within a few months of overseeing its operations, he discovered some dark financial secrets. Doing his job, he delved into a morass of monetary fraud. As he exposed the impropriety, an unexpected thing happened. He was brought before the board of the company and threatened. Shane, a believer in Jesus, stood his ground. His integrity shone brightly even though he was released by the company’s board under false pretenses.

    The Factory of Sadness

    As a lifelong Cleveland Browns football fan, I grew up knowing my share of disappointment. Despite being one of only four teams to have never appeared in a Super Bowl championship game, the Browns have a loyal fan base that sticks with the team year in and year out. But because the fans usually end up disappointed, many of them now refer to the home stadium as the “Factory of Sadness.”

    The broken world we live in can be a “factory of sadness” too. There seems to be an endless supply of heartache and disappointment, whether from our own choices or…

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    Christian Ministry & the Church

    Starting Points & End Results

    In the movie Castaway, a man was stranded on a desert island for 4 years following a plane crash. After his rescue, the authorities told him that their initial efforts following the crash had failed because they had searched in the wrong area—thinking that the plane had gone down 400 miles from where it crashed. Since their starting point was completely wrong, they had little chance of success even though their efforts were admirable.

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    The Call of God

    Paul states here that the call of God is to preach the gospel. But remember what Paul means by “the gospel,” namely, the reality of redemption in our Lord Jesus Christ. We are inclined to make sanctification the goal of our preaching. Paul refers to personal experiences only by way of illustration, never as the end of the matter. We are not commissioned to preach salvation or sanctification— we are commissioned to lift up Jesus Christ (see John 12:32). It is an injustice to say that Jesus Christ labored in redemption to make me a saint. Jesus Christ labored in redemption to redeem the whole world and to place it perfectly whole and restored before the throne of God.

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    Christianity & Culture

    Starting Points & End Results

    In the movie Castaway, a man was stranded on a desert island for 4 years following a plane crash. After his rescue, the authorities told him that their initial efforts following the crash had failed because they had searched in the wrong area—thinking that the plane had gone down 400 miles from where it crashed. Since their starting point was completely wrong, they had little chance of success even though their efforts were admirable.

    Do You See Your Calling?

    Our calling is not primarily to be holy men and women, but to be proclaimers of the gospel of God. The one all-important thing is that the gospel of God should be recognized as the abiding reality. Reality is not human goodness, or holiness, or heaven, or hell— it is redemption. The need to perceive this is the most vital need of the Christian worker today. As workers, we have to get used to the revelation that redemption is the only reality. Personal holiness is an effect of redemption, not the cause of it. If we place our faith in human goodness we will go under when testing comes.

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    Ethical Issues

    Shine Brightly

    Shane (name changed to protect his identity) took a big job at a well-known company. Within a few months of overseeing its operations, he discovered some dark financial secrets. Doing his job, he delved into a morass of monetary fraud. As he exposed the impropriety, an unexpected thing happened. He was brought before the board of the company and threatened. Shane, a believer in Jesus, stood his ground. His integrity shone brightly even though he was released by the company’s board under false pretenses.

    People don’t understand—I was trapped

    For most of us it’s impossible to imagine being fifteen years old and lured into a world of human trafficking. This was Leslie’s life for more than twenty years until she prayed a desperate prayer—one that Jesus answered in a powerful and profound way. Be inspired by Leslie’s courageous story as God uses her to reach out to others ensnared in prostitution.

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    Evangelism & Missions

    A Serving Leader

    In traditional African societies, leadership succession is a serious decision. After a king’s demise, great care is taken selecting the next ruler. Besides being from a royal family, the successor must be strong, fearless, and sensible. Candidates are questioned to determine if they will serve the people or rule with a heavy hand. The king’s successor needs to be someone who leads but also serves.

    Even though Solomon made his own bad choices, he worried over his successor. “Who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into…

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    The Compelling Majesty of His Power

    Paul said that he was overpowered, subdued, and held as in a vise by “the love of Christ.” Very few of us really know what it means to be held in the grip of the love of God. We tend so often to be controlled simply by our own experience. The one thing that gripped and held Paul, to the exclusion of everything else, was the love of God. “The love of Christ compels us . . . .” When you hear that coming from the life of a man or woman it is unmistakable. You will know that the Spirit of God is completely unhindered in that person’s life.

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    Life Struggles

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    Spiritual Dejection

    Every fact that the disciples stated was right, but the conclusions they drew from those facts were wrong. Anything that has even a hint of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If I am depressed or burdened, I am to blame, not God or anyone else. Dejection stems from one of two sources— I have either satisfied a lust or I have not had it satisfied. In either case, dejection is the result. Lust means “I must have it at once.” Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer. What have I been hoping or trusting God would do? Is today “the third day” and He has still not done what I expected? Am I therefore justified in being dejected and in blaming God? Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not of the answer. It is impossible to be well physically and to be dejected, because dejection is a sign of sickness. This is also true spiritually. Dejection spiritually is wrong, and we are always to blame for it.

    An Angry Prayer

    The 1965 movie Shenandoah stars Jimmy Stewart as Charlie Anderson, an authoritarian father of seven who farms in the Shenandoah Valley. Set during the American Civil War, the film explores themes of war, family, and restoration.

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    Marriage & Family

    A Letter To My Future Wife

    Dear (Future) Wife, It’s the day after our wedding, doesn’t it feel surreal? Watching you walk down the aisle in your white gown yesterday, I couldn’t stop thanking God for bringing you into my life.

    Editor’s Picks: Top 3 Articles | Relationships

    Let’s just get it out there: Relationships are as important to us as the air that we breathe. Some of the most intense emotions we experience as human beings are tied to our relationship experiences.

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    Relationships

    A Letter To My Future Wife

    Dear (Future) Wife, It’s the day after our wedding, doesn’t it feel surreal? Watching you walk down the aisle in your white gown yesterday, I couldn’t stop thanking God for bringing you into my life.

    Editor’s Picks: Top 3 Articles | Relationships

    Let’s just get it out there: Relationships are as important to us as the air that we breathe. Some of the most intense emotions we experience as human beings are tied to our relationship experiences.

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    Spiritual Growth

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    Spiritual Dejection

    Every fact that the disciples stated was right, but the conclusions they drew from those facts were wrong. Anything that has even a hint of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If I am depressed or burdened, I am to blame, not God or anyone else. Dejection stems from one of two sources— I have either satisfied a lust or I have not had it satisfied. In either case, dejection is the result. Lust means “I must have it at once.” Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer. What have I been hoping or trusting God would do? Is today “the third day” and He has still not done what I expected? Am I therefore justified in being dejected and in blaming God? Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not of the answer. It is impossible to be well physically and to be dejected, because dejection is a sign of sickness. This is also true spiritually. Dejection spiritually is wrong, and we are always to blame for it.

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    Are You Ready To Be Poured Out As an Offering? (2)

    I am already being poured out as a drink offering . . . —2 Timothy 4:6

    Are you ready to be poured out as an offering? It is an act of your will, not your emotions. Tell God you are ready to…

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    When Life Hurts

    The Factory of Sadness

    As a lifelong Cleveland Browns football fan, I grew up knowing my share of disappointment. Despite being one of only four teams to have never appeared in a Super Bowl championship game, the Browns have a loyal fan base that sticks with the team year in and year out. But because the fans usually end up disappointed, many of them now refer to the home stadium as the “Factory of Sadness.”

    The broken world we live in can be a “factory of sadness” too. There seems to be an endless supply of heartache and disappointment, whether from our own choices or…

    4 Ways to Cope with Pain and Loss

    One afternoon last December, I received a text message from my former youth pastor asking me to pray for his wife, who was facing complications during delivery. When he called me later to explain the situation in detail, I could sense the tension in his voice.

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